Since these two loves—love for the Lord and love of controlling prompted by self-love—are absolute opposites, and since everyone who is caught up in love for the Lord turns toward the Lord as the sun, as explained in the preceding section, it stands to reason that everyone who is caught up in a love of controlling prompted by self-love turns away from the Lord. The reason people turn in opposite directions is that those who are caught up in love for the Lord love being led by the Lord more than anything else, and want the Lord alone to be in control. In contrast, if people are caught up in a love of controlling prompted by self-love, there is nothing they love more than leading themselves. They want to be the only ones who are in control.
The reason we refer to “a love of controlling prompted by self-love” is that there is a love of controlling out of a love of service. Since this love acts in unison with love for our neighbor, it is a spiritual love. In fact, it cannot truly be called a love of being in control: it should be called a love of service.
The reason spirits of all kinds turn toward their ruling loves is that for all of us, love is life (as explained in Sections 1–3 of part 1), and life turns its vessels, called members, organs, and viscera—the whole person, therefore—toward the particular community that is engaged in a similar love, the community where our own love is.
Since a love of controlling prompted by self-love is the absolute opposite of love for the Lord, spirits caught up in this love of controlling turn away from the Lord. So their eyes are looking toward that world’s west; and since their bodies are turned around, the east is behind them, the north is on their right, and the south is on their left. The east is behind them because they harbor a hatred of the Lord; the north is on their right because they love illusions and the consequent distortions; and the south is on their left because they have no use for the light of wisdom. They can turn this way and that, but still everything they see around themselves looks like their love.
They all are oriented toward outward nature and their senses. They are the kind of people who think they are the only ones who are really alive and who see others as unreal. They think they themselves are wiser than anyone else, even though they are insane.
In the spiritual world, you can see roads laid out like roads in our physical world. Some of them lead to heaven and some to hell. The roads that lead to hell are not visible to people who are going to heaven, and the roads that lead to heaven are not visible to people who are going to hell. There are more such roads than you can count, roads leading to each heavenly community and to each hellish community. Each individual spirit sets out on the road that leads to the community of his or her own love and does not even see the roads that lead in other directions. As a result, when spirits turn toward their ruling love, they also travel.
from Divine Love and Wisdom, Sections 142-145
Sections 1-3: Published 3/5/2017-3/6/2017